I have to ask, why has every unemployed City person decided to turn into an author?
I have to ask, why has every unemployed City person decided to turn into an author? When I first heard that one of my friends, recently made redundant, had decided to write a book I thought it was a brilliant idea, as he is one of the most colourful and eloquent people I know. In fact, I was already looking forward to reading his work before he had even placed the first word on the page.
But not every Tom, Dick and Harry was born to write; some, thankfully, are simply born to read. How is it then that at every dinner party lately some individual seated next to me will tell me that their redundancy could not have come at a better time as they have this brilliant idea for a novel? Ideas that extend from a girl’s life in the big bad man’s city, to advice on dating, sexual escapades on business trips, life story, and of course, my favourite, Adam’s tips to success (from a newly unemployed author).
Last Saturday, a kind friend decided to seat me next to what she assured me was ‘a very interesting and absolutely fascinating’ dinner companion. Mr. Fascinating was unfortunately recently let go and decided to write a book on his theory of how every woman is a natural-born cheat. Before you ask, he did not have a PhD in psychology, or women’s studies, or any such ‘pretentious’ field. What had triggered Mr. Fascinating’s imagination was that, shortly after he got fired, his girlfriend had revealed that she was moving out of their flat and moving in with a man that she had been seeing for over a year while Mr. Fascinating was out until the wee morning hours slaving in the city.
The polite conversation which had started slightly before the amuse-bouche, developed into a full-blown attack by the time the petit fours arrived, as my charming dinner companion defended his theory and retorted that my only problem with the notion was that I too was clearly hiding something. After all women, much like stocks, seem to go down when you least expect them.
While, Mr. Fascinating’s theory may prove to be an international best-seller, driven largely by sales among female readers who enjoy the male hypothesis that they are all born sluts, not every redundant person’s 400 page novel may prove as lucky. No doubt I am being awfully cynical but I just don’t see how being fired from the city turns one soulful and metaphysical. Where was this soulfulness when they were all partying at Boujis and Annabel’s inviting girls to their tables for drinks, compliments of their corporate cards, and taking clients to Stringfellows? Can any of these individuals even recall the last time they read, much less wrote, a 400 page work?
Though I understand that, no longer able to shape the markets, these former champions of business and commerce now feel the need to mould the public’s mind, I feel pressed to remind them of the obvious – it didn’t really end that well the first time around.
Personally, I am thankful that I did not take that publishing job offered to me shortly after University. I can’t imagine anything worse than a few months from now having to read through so many City-life Crises – surely that is more a job for the therapist, who gets paid a couple of hundred pounds an hour, than some poor un-expecting soul that receives it through the post like a drive-by shooting.